The Toronto Arrows, in their first season of existence, will enter the Major League Rugby play-offs next week as the league’s hottest team.
The Arrows overcame an eight point second-half deficit to beat Rugby United New York at Lamport Stadium on Sunday, their seventh consecutive win. The Arrows finished the regular season with an 11-5 record.
“We came home for eight games knowing we had to get wins,” Sam Malcolm said. “And to go 7-1, we’re happy with that.”
Malcolm, the team’s fly-half, put Toronto ahead with three minutes left to play, as a sustained ruck put him in position to kick a drop goal from 15 metres out.
“We worked on it all week,” Malcolm said. “We knew if we got into a position where we could kick a drop goal, we should just take it.”
“We were in a perfect position right in front of the posts.”
Down 7-0 early after a New York try from Connor Wallace-Sims, the Arrows began to carry much of the play. Dan Moor found the corner for the Arrows’ first score then four minutes later, Spencer Jones ran to an open spot and received a quick feed off a ruck to give Toronto a 12-7 lead. They would carry that to halftime, negating New York of a try in the final seconds of the period.
New York caught an early break in the second with an errant Toronto pass picked off by John Quill who went 40 metres for a score. New York increased the lead with two penalty conversions by Cathal Marsh.
The Arrows pulled themselves close when Andrew Ferguson quickly restarted after a penalty two metres from the New York line and plunged over, setting up Malcolm’s heroics.
The Arrows learned of their play-off opponent late Sunday.